Lands of Antiquity
For a thousand years, the Borderlands protected the inland dutchies and baronies of the Old World from tribes of orcs or the wildmen of the desert. According to the ancient agreements, each Duke or Baron would supply the Borderlands with men, supplies, and gold to help them in the constant struggle. In reality, the wealth of the inland stayed in the inland, and the Border never had either enough men, or the money to hire more. The men sent by the inland dutchies are generally criminals given the choice of prison or border duty, and indentured servants or slaves. The Duke accepts them all, and they are freed as soon as they arrive. The Border needs men and isn’t picky about where they came from, as long as they can help hold the line.
Border Riders are lean, wind roughened men, used to constant patrol and danger. Excellant horsemen, skilled with bow and lance, they are used to working alone for weeks at a time, and only gathering together for small battles or large invasions from the desert. While they are mainly from the families making a hard living in the Border Dutchy, they are occaisonally joined by men or women who for one reason or another need the solitude or danger that comes with riding the border.
In recent decades, possibly from the weather changes in the Sea of Storms, the Borderlands have entered a time of drought. Wells grow dry and farmland is abandoned to grazing. And the grazing lands nearest the desert are soon buried by sand and unable to support the herds.
With the inlanders giving him less and less support, and his people staring at starvation, 50 years ago Duke Jahan sold or traded what was left of his Dutchy to neighboring rulers. Along with most of his people, he abandoned the Borderlands in search of a new home across the Sea of Storms. The inlands watched him go, and wonder if the harsh desert will provide enough of a barrier to the invading tribles, or if it will fall upon them to defend a border that is now much closer to their homelands.